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 Post subject: Jeskai Fires
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:46 am 
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Is anyone else playing this deck, especially in BO1? If so, any thoughts? Here're some of mine:

- Elspeth Conquers Death seems very strong, strong enough that it might be worth giving up some Cavaliers for this. It answers almost everything you care about: Torbran, opponent's ECD, Fires of Reclamation, etc.
- Equally, Cavalier of Dawn seems like a viable option. The point is that although sometimes haste damage is good, other times it's simply irrelevant. The red Cavalier isn't dead in that case - it can still discard dead cards like excess lands or Deafening Clarion - but it's significantly worse. Meanwhile Cavalier of Dawn is just as good as ECD at killing problematic permanents, and if it dies it can bring back Fires from the graveyard. You usually don't care about the 3/3 on the opponent's board, since it's blocked by almost everything and dies to Deafening Clarion if necessary. Only downside of this latter effect is that it can't get Fires out of exile, and opponent's ECD is a real threat.
- Fae of Wishes looks really legitimate in BO1. 1/4 body is a great blocker against red since it survives a +2 pump spell even against their Scorch Spitters and Fervent Champions, and it survives Deafening Clarion too. Against other decks it provides a host of options in the sideboard.

Here're some cards I've been using in the wishboard:

- Ugin the Ineffable: I think this is worth a slot, since it can kill anything you have trouble against, is castable without Fires, and the +1 is reasonable.
- Chandra, Awakened Inferno: same as Ugin. Being castable without Fires is a real advantage. Another nice thing about Chandra is that she's uncounterable so you can always play her into open mana, unlike the other expensive spells you have.
- Elspeth Conquers Death: you're not running 4x of this mainboard, might as well stick one in the sideboard for how versatile it is.
- Casualties of War: effect's really powerful. It's also a generically good wish target, hence I have two in the wishboard.
- Thought Distortion: devastating against any non-creature deck.
- Enter the God Eternals: specifically against monored.
- Ethereal Absolution: specifically against cat food decks. Only problem is how expensive it is. Having six lands + Fires + two spells to cast with Fires against a semi-aggressive deck is not easy. I don't think I've actually wished for this yet, but then again I've not seen many cat food decks.
- Heliod's Intervention: against Temur Clover mostly, potentially useful against Esper dance as well. Note you have to pay real mana to cast this, even with Fires out, otherwise X = 0.
- Nicol Bolas, Dragon God: as a 5-CMC wish target. I don't think there's anything better than Nicol Bolas and ECD.
- Planewide Celebration: I've only wished for this card once but then I promptly dc'ed and lost before I cast it. It looks reasonable if the game grinds out, since it's more proactive than Casualties of War.
- Liliana, Dreadhorde General: to answer Dream Trawler.
- Kaya's Wrath (or Time Wipe): haven't wished for either but it seems reasonable to have a sweeper in the wishboard. Major advantage of Kaya's Wrath is that you can cast it if you're stalling on lands, but it needs Fires, and decks that get crushed by sweepers have gotten rather rare.

Major problem with wishboard is that many of the spells requires you to untap with Fires in play to get them. If you wish for them having already cast another spell that turn, and then Fires gets removed, the result can be devastating. In that vein I've not actually gotten to Thought Distortion a control player very often; I need to untap with Fires to do it safely and that's difficult. Another problem is that I could quite reasonably not have the lands to cast the more expensive spells, which is why I think some lower casting cost cards are necessary.

There're some free slots in the wishboard as well if anyone has any smart ideas on what to put there.


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 Post subject: Re: Jeskai Fires
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:22 am 
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Definitely missing Kiora Bests the Sea God in the sideboard - that card is generically powerful and castable without Fires out too. At the moment it feels like the slow, value-generating planeswalkers are barely worth it, with Nicol Bolas & Garruk easily the cards I wish for the least. Somewhat surprisingly I've found myself wanting Planar Cleansing sometimes, since sometimes I'm so far behind on the board it's the only thing that can save me, even if it kills Fires in the process.

I'm currently playing one Narset as a wish target against Bant Ramp, no idea how good that is. It's also possible there should be a card like 3-mana Ashiok in the sideboard, as graveyard hate.

General tip, if you can only cast one more spell, do not play Fae of Wishes for a card you can't cast without Fires out! I've been burned by that line way too many times, since many opponents can interfere with your very-telegraphed play (e.g. by committing cards to the board if you got Thought Distortion), and if Fires gets removed you will have a dead card.


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 Post subject: Re: Jeskai Fires
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:29 am 
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For people interested in BO1, I've been playing this deck to pretty good success (I actually reached platinum with it, which says something given how frustrating BO1 can be). Most of my games are played unranked, however, since BO1 isn't that competitive.

4 x Fires of Invention (ELD) 125
2 x Island (THB) 281
1 x Mountain (THB) 285
2 x Plains (XLN) 260
4 x Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251
4 x Steam Vents (GRN) 257
2 x Sacred Foundry (GRN) 254
3 x Fabled Passage (ELD) 244
3 x Temple of Epiphany (M20) 253
3 x Temple of Triumph (M20) 257
3 x Castle Vantress (ELD) 242
2 x Cavalier of Dawn (M20) 10
4 x Sphinx of Foresight (RNA) 55
3 x Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115
2 x Cavalier of Gales (M20) 52
2 x Kenrith, the Returned King (ELD) 303
4 x Fae of Wishes (ELD) 44
3 x Deafening Clarion (GRN) 165
4 x Teferi, Time Raveler (WAR) 221
2 x Elspeth Conquers Death (THB) 13
1 x Heliod's Intervention (THB) 19
2 x Cavalier of Flame (M20) 125

Sideboard
1 x Ethereal Absolution (RNA) 170
1 x Narset, Parter of Veils (WAR) 61
2 x Casualties of War (WAR) 187
1 x Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God (WAR) 207
1 x Ashiok, Dream Render (WAR) 228
1 x Enter the God-Eternals (WAR) 196
1 x Liliana, Dreadhorde General (WAR) 97
1 x Kiora Bests the Sea God (THB) 52
1 x Ugin, the Ineffable (WAR) 2
1 x Elspeth Conquers Death (THB) 13
1 x Chandra, Awakened Inferno (M20) 127
1 x Thought Distortion (M20) 117
1 x Kaya's Wrath (RNA) 187
1 x Command the Dreadhorde (WAR) 82


It's got 10 cards against RDW (4 Fae of Wishes, 3 Bonecrusher Giants, 3 Deafening Clarion) which makes that a pretty favorable matchup even if I'm on the draw. If opponent is playing red I will generally cast and block with Fae of Wishes without hesitation. For the top end, Cavalier of Dawn provides some extra interaction while being a body. The 3/3 it leaves behind can be a problem, but it's rare, since it can't attak through the 4/6, it can be bounced by Teferi, and it dies to Deafening Clarion. Elspeth Conquers Death provides extra interaction as well being devastating e.g. against other Fires lists.

The three cavaliers can be hard to cast especially without Fires. C'est la vie. Heliod's Intervention is a flex slot. I don't know what else to run there, however.

In the sideboard, I'd say the important cards are Ethereal Absolution, Enter the God-Eternals, Casualties of War, Kiora bests the Sea God, Elspeth Conquers Death, Thought Distortion, and Kaya's Wrath. The others can all be varied, although I'm confident that with 15 slots available Nicol Bolas, Ugin and Liliana are worth their slots. I've yet to wish for Narset, Ashiok and Command the Dreadhorde.

In my experience the bad matchups appear to be Bant ramp & Esper dance. Anyone have any bright ideas how to fix those two matchups?


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 Post subject: Re: Jeskai Fires
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:32 am 
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So did you updated this with the companion guy?
Seems T1 also.

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 Post subject: Re: Jeskai Fires
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:32 pm 
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I'm trying it. First impressions are that Ikoria made the rest of the deck substantially better - in particular the tri-lands are great and it's easy to have black mana for Kenrith now. I'm not convinced Narset deserves a spot. The +1 is not strong, although it's repeatable lifegain. The -2 is also not strong. Other planeswalkers draw cards while ticking up, while Narset does not. It's nice to be able to nuke other planeswalkers, but not that important, since the deck has haste creatures. As for the companion, I've yet to actually need it, but it's nice to have in reserve. Since it'll usually draw 2-3 cards on entering play it also lets the deck increase its land count.

Major problem I have with the companion is that it disables Fae of Wishes, and as long as I'm playing BO1, that's not something I'm keen about. The Fires deck remains extremely reliant on drawing Fires of Invention as well. Elspeth Conquers Death is seeing less play which is good for the deck, but considering how badly the deck functions without Fires, getting even one ECD played against me feels really bad. On the other hand the rise of sacrifice also increases how valuable Deafening Clarion is, and that's already staple in this deck.

One thing I really want to try is a creatureless version with Fae of Wishes. It seems consensus agreed this is inferior in the previous meta, presumably because losing haste damage is a big deal and not being able to stabilize the board with a big creature is also a problem. On the other hand, 3-mana Narset is backbreaking against some decks while digging for Fires, and this version did gain things from Ikoria: 4-mana Narset and the cycling enchantment, and of course most of the hive mind is working on BO3 while I'm playing BO1.

I suspect Fires will remain a strong deck by the end of the format, but it won't be the quintessential T0 deck because if it gets too good, the format has ways to beat it.


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 Post subject: Re: Jeskai Fires
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:11 am 
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I've been quite impressed with Fires in the little time I have played Standard this season.

Keruga has been in for me, since many of the possible early plays for Fires actually cost 3 mana on the forefront (Bonecrusher, Mystical Dispute, Brazen Borrower). The biggest loss is Aether Gust (and sideboarded Devout Decree), but always having a 5-drop that draws you 2-3 cards as an additional option wins out. (I've not been a fan of the Fae for a while now)

I've played against, but not with Narset. I feel like she is a decent main-board inclusion that is decent in most match-ups, but I found I'd rather include narrow cards (Mystical Dispute, Elspeth Conquers Death) to have a flexible sideboard. I guess the black-less versions that play 1-2 less lands could easily wing her.

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 Post subject: Re: Jeskai Fires
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:01 am 
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It's so silly that this deck needs to run disputes, but it totally does.
How many clarions are u running?
I particular don't enjoy this deck, but the power level is very much there. However Temur rec seems to be able to go under it.
To me the best decks are Fires, Temur and Lurrus.
All three are versatile and can fight back the SB hate.

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 Post subject: Re: Jeskai Fires
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:31 am 
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It's so silly that this deck needs to run disputes, but it totally does.
How many clarions are u running?
I particular don't enjoy this deck, but the power level is very much there. However Temur rec seems to be able to go under it.
To me the best decks are Fires, Temur and Lurrus.
All three are versatile and can fight back the SB hate.


Currently waffling between 3 and 4 Clarion mainboard (always 4 plus two Flame Sweep in the 75), in BO1 I'd definitely run 4.

Pretty much agreed on the three best decks right now; and IMO they're rock-paper-scissors (Lurrus > Reclamation > Fires > Lurrus); I basically picked Fires because I feel like Fires>Lurrus is the best MU and Fires<Reclamation is the least bad (at least in BO3, BO1 might be a different beast). Might switch back to Lurrus if I see too many Rec players.

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 Post subject: Re: Jeskai Fires
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2020 6:27 pm 
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I spent some time playing Ali Aintrazi's Genesis Fires (https://www.coolstuffinc.com/a/alaintra ... esis-fires) with a modified sideboard for BO1 play. Boy that deck cannot beat aggro unless - and sometimes even if - it draws Growth Spiral. On the other hand it does do some cool things. I like how reliable it is at finding Fires, and how effective it is even without Fires in play. On the other hand it is significantly weaker compared to standard Jeskai lists if Fires does resolve. If you gotta spend one of your two spells on Tamiyo for example - that's not impacting the board.

Nonetheless, the strengths are very significant. It makes me think. I'll try brewing sometime if I find the time and/or the motivation. If only Fires let you cast more spells if you paid real mana for it ...


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 Post subject: Re: Jeskai Fires
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2020 8:47 pm 
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Why not just play Kergua fires? It seems pretty well situated in the current meta:

Deck
4 Bonecrusher Giant
4 Cavalier of Flame
1 God-Eternal Oketra
2 Kenrith, the Returned King
4 Sphinx of Foresight
4 Teferi, Time Raveler
4 Deafening Clarion
2 Elspeth Conquers Death
4 Fires of Invention
2 Mystical Dispute
2 Castle Vantress
3 Fabled Passage
4 Hallowed Fountain
2 Island
2 Mountain
1 Plains
4 Raugrin Triome
3 Sacred Foundry
3 Savai Triome
4 Steam Vents
1 Swamp

Sideboard
1 Elspeth Conquers Death
2 Flame Sweep
2 Haktos the Unscarred
1 Keruga, the Macrosage
3 Kunoros, Hound of Athreos
4 Legion Warboss
2 Mystical Dispute

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